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Black Bloc

Anti-Fascists Explain The Importance Of Anonymity In Demonstrations

New protest legislation is criminalising many forms of protest. Anti-fascists are labeled aggravated activists by the police, and you don’t need to have a criminal record to be added to a police database. Simply associating with a known person and going to several protests is enough to justify an entry. This information has, in the past, been used by the police to harass and intimidate campaigners. No-one should face police intimidation for standing up to fascists. Meanwhile, when the Public Order Bill comes into force, protesters who haven’t even committed an offence, can be issued with Serious Disruption Prevention Orders. These are essentially banning orders that will prevent people from attending protests, stop them seeing named people, prevent them from organising online and can even be enforced by electronic tags.

Lessons From Portland’s Clashes With Fascists

By Shamus Cooke for CounterPunch. Portland, Oregon had its collective mind blown in recent weeks. A Nazi murdered two people on public transit and a week later, on June 4th, Portland police were ‘protecting and serving’ a rally of 300+ ‘Alt-Right’ white supremacists from a counter-protest of over 3,000. A crushing tension gripped Portland as the protests neared; people were understandably scared that more deaths would occur during the confrontation. The far-right rally organizer– local demagogue Joey Gibson– announced that a local far-right militia would provide security, while alt-right ‘celebrities’ from around the country descended onto Portland, many of them decked out in protective gear for street fighting. One of these celebrity fascists who goes by ‘Based Stick Man’ (real name Kyle Chapman) tweeted: “I declare open season on Antifa [anti-fascists], squash on sight”.

Protester: ‘Is This My Last Free Birthday?’

By Patrick Strickland for Al Jazeera. Washington, DC - When Olivia Alsip travelled to the capital to protest against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump, she didn't imagine she would end the day behind bars and later face up to 80 years in prison. Thousands of people journeyed from across the US to Washington, DC, to protest on the first day of Trump's presidency, January 20. During the swearing-in, Alsip was among the more than 230 protesters arrested when officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) blocked off a large area and hauled off nearly everyone. "I am wondering if my 24th birthday next week will be my last as a free person," she says by telephone from Chicago. "I've never in my life had such a painful and stressful experience. There are no words to convey the severity of this."

Our Streets: The Story from the Front Lines & How We Fight

By Eleanor Goldfield for ACT Out. Yawn points out that condemning black bloc tactics divides us and that we should not limit ourselves to only permitted protests. He asks: what violence would have to be done to you before you fight back? Is that being done to others in our country? Is it being done by the United States to others around the world? With these questions in mind he points out that opposing black bloc tactics comes from a place of privilege, the privilege of not suffering violence at the hand of the state. Yawn describes how tactics must be analyzed in the context of the situation and the goals of the protest.

Journalists & Dissent Under Attack In The United States

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. When we discussed these specific arrests with Chris Hedges over email his view was "This is just the start." On our radio show, Hedges described how cowering the media is a key part of silencing dissent. If the media is not there to cover the mistreatment of protesters, then law enforcement will become even more abusive. Reporters Without Borders described the media as "Public Enemy Number One for the Trump administration," writing it is "alarmed by the new administration’s repeated attacks on the media and blatant disregard for facts in the first three days of Donald Trump’s presidency. . . In the first 72 hours since the 45th President of the United States took his oath of office, his administration has executed a coordinated attack on the media and demonstrated a clear disregard for facts." Margaux Ewen, Advocacy and Communications Director for RSF North America, said: It is clear that Trump views the media as his number one enemy and is taking every single opportunity to try to weaken their credibility.

Black Bloc: The Activist’s Militia

By Awakened Media for The Fifth Column News. Seattle, Washington (TFC) – A Black Bloc is not a group or organization; in fact, it is a tactic that has greatly evolved since its beginnings in Germany, 1980. Many view the participants as hooligans and violent Anarchists. Some are there only to agitate and be destructive. Some are there to express their anger towards the buildings that signify our addictions and act as a reminder to the ruling class. But, most are there to show solidarity and provide security for the peaceful protesters. They are prepared to fight back against law enforcement when they decide to attack peaceful demonstrators. The dress code is black head to toe for many reasons. To show solidarity and to allow anonymity for those who choose to take certain actions. This allows the Bloc to prevent arrests and “unarrest” those who have been detained. Behind the black uniform and mask are people just like you and I.
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